Sleep divorce? How a sleep apnea appliance can save your marriage
Can a dentist save your marriage? If the problem is a “sleep divorce” due to snoring, then the answer is quite possibly yes, with the help of a simple oral appliance.
You’re snoring. Your partner elbows you and pushes you on your side. One of you gets up to sleep in another room. You snore again. No matter what, you’re both exhausted and irritable the next day.
You’re not alone. One in four choose to “sleep divorce” and sleep apart from their partners to have a more restful night.
Snoring can be a cause of sleep divorce; quality sleep is crucial for your overall physical and emotional well-being and sleeping apart can be a quick fix to improve at least one partner’s sleep. But it doesn’t address the underlying issue.
So what is the underlying issue causing your snoring and disrupting your sleep? Frequently, it’s caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA causes frequent blockage or collapsing of the airway throughout the night, which can decrease your blood oxygen levels. That lawnmower-like sound coming from the back of your throat is the vibration of soft tissues around your airway. Something you thought was a bad habit could actually be a serious medical condition.
The good news? Snoring and OSA are treatable conditions, and your dentist might be able to help.
Snoring isn’t sexy
It’s no secret that snoring is annoying to your partner. In fact, the sound is usually between 65-90 decibels—comparable to an old vacuum or lawnmower! The frequent awakenings are more than just annoying; they can lead to chronic sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can have significant implications for couples and relationships. Researchers from the University California at Berkeley found that poor sleep makes some partners feel unappreciated.” They are simply too tired to notice the little things, and too distracted to be appreciative. After just one poor night of sleep, the human brain is wired to be less empathetic and more emotionally reactive. This means we make quick judgments, take things a bit more personally, and have a hard time seeing things from our partner’s perspective. Sure, you’re in a mood—but not the mood.
Speaking of mood, untreated OSA can mess with your hormones. One of these hormones, testosterone, is mostly produced overnight and reaches its peak levels in the morning after healthy REM sleep. Frequent awakenings from snoring and OSA can prevent you from getting enough REM sleep. This may be a contributing factor to the erectile dysfunction (ED) that many men experience when they have OSA. On the positive side, treating OSA can reduce symptoms of ED, and just one additional hour of sleep has been shown to increase next-day sexual desire in healthy women.
Here’s where your dentist comes in
Many dentists can make you a small device to effectively treat the mood-killing, argument-starting snoring and OSA.
An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either supporting the tongue or jaw in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.
With a custom fitted oral appliance, we can help minimise or eliminate the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep apnoea (in mild to moderate cases) including loud snoring, gasping and unpleasant noises.
The device can also act as an alternative treatment for patients (on medical advice only) who have been prescribed CPAP by their medical consultant, finding it difficult to adhere to this therapy for management of their sleep apnoea condition.
How does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Oral appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position, dilates the upper airway and preventing it from collapsing. This helps to:
- eliminate or reduce snoring noise levels
- improve sleep quality and general energy levels on wakening
- treat sleep apnoea disease progression
- improves bed partners sleep quality of life.
The Beacon Dental Clinic provide the following additional services
- Referral from consultant led medical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, noisy loud snoring and suspected sleep apnoea.
- CBT referral or medical advice for sleep disorder management.
- Dietician and weight management referral if indicated.
- Dental health care education.
Dental Hygienist service and dental health care education
- Advanced restorative prosthodontic care
- Routine in office dental healthcare
If you are referred to the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic by a medical consultant, we will then assess your suitability for Oral Appliance Therapy. This will involve a dental examination, an x-ray evaluation and trial lower jaw advancement as indicated. Specific smart phone apps will be recommended to assist in the collection of sleep related noise and disturbances so as to assist in overall management.
If you have not been refereed by a medical practitioner we will assist you with the appropriate assessment and arrange any necessary referral or further investigation as part of your overall management.
OSA and snoring are incredibly common, and there’s an effective solution. You and your partner can get some peace and quiet with oral appliance therapy.
If you want to stop snoring, sleep better, and get back in bed with your partner, the solution is simple—ask your dentist if they can save your marriage.
For further information on Sleep Apnoea Treatment, contact us today
Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic is based in the Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: email@example.com